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How to Keep Tall Potted Plants From Falling Over

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This will teach you all about staking house plants, including how to keep tall potted plants from falling over using my big rubber plant as an example.

Staking house plants: How to keep tall potted plants from falling over

Hey guys, I’m sharing a quick tip today! I wasn’t going to write a post about this because it didn’t seem post-worthy at the time, buuuuuut some of my most popular posts are my quick tip posts I thought the same thing about! So here I am.

If you’ve houseplant that is leaning over and you want to fit it, I’m chatting all about staking house plants today. Specifically how to keep tall potted plants from falling over using my large rubber plant as an example.

staking house plants

My beautiful rubber plant

This is hands down one of my favorite plants. I got it about 2 years ago at my favorite local nursery’s annual house plant sale. You know, I try to avoid this nursery because they have an amazing selection or beautiful, healthy plants, but they are a little pricey. I can easily empty my wallet in just one visit. Typically I save my visits there for “plant therapy” days and always keep an eye on when they are having good sales.

I had this rubber plant in a large painted ceramic pot up until a few months ago. We haven’t moved the plant at all (rubber plants like getting comfy in one spot), but it has really taken off and nearly doubled in size since I brought it home. I wish I had pictures from when I first brought it home!

Needless to say, it needed repotted. I ended up putting it on a large white pot from Ikea to give it some more room to grow. I love Ikea for large affordable pots that aren’t plastic—and I also love discount stores like Ollie’s Bargain Outlet (see that post for tips on sealing clay pots before painting then, too!).

It was also getting really top heavy for the smaller pot. I’d hoped repotting it deeper in a larger pot would give it more stability, but I quickly realized it was just top heavy on one side, likely because of reaching toward the window. So I decided to try to even the plant by rotating it and adding a DIY houseplant stake.

staking house plants
staking house plants
living room with rubber plant

How to keep tall potted plants from falling over

My rubber plant was also spreading out a lot and taking up a lot of space. Rubber plants can grow very tall. So I’d hoped that staking the plant would maximize vertical space and encourage it to grow taller, not wider.

You can use a store bought stake made using a wide variety of materials: wood, metal, plastic, etc. I decided to use a simple thick wooden dowel from Home Depot. Since the rubber plant’s leaves and branches are quite heavy, I chose a thicker dowel that wouldn’t bend.

When I took it home, I gave it a coat of black spray paint to help it blend in with the plant better. Once the paint was dry, I gently pushed it down into the soil. I didn’t worry too much about spearing the roots as I know they are resilient. (Well, I hoped they were. No problems yet!)

dowel for plant stakes
dowel for plant stakes
dowel for plant stakes
dowel for plant stakes

Staking House Plants: How to tie plants to stakes

But staking the plant is just the first step. Now you have to attach the plant to the stake. How you do this depends on what kind of houseplant you’re staking and how hardy it is. You can use garden tape that stretches as the plant grows; this would be a great approach for a more fragile plant, I think. You can also use thin wire or little twisty ties, which I’ve see on plants like orchids.


I chose to use twine for my rubber plant since the branches I would be securing were so thick. Since I already had garden twine on hand, I used that to gently pull branches up and tie them to the stake. I tied a few branches up and tried to evenly space the ties around the plant and at different spots on the stake so that I didn’t have them all on one side.

Since this moved the branches around at the soil level, I filled in some bare spots and added some more soil. This approach worked very well, and I am really happy with how the plant looks now. It looks so tall!

staking house plants
staking house plants

UPDATE!

I wanted to update this post because my plant has grown a ton since first posting this! I still have the original dowel in place as it is very strong. It primarily supports the rubber plant’s thick main branch, which is by far the tallest.

However, since it has grown so much, I decided to add a bamboo stick as well. I got a pack of these at a local garden store and love them because they’re so natural looking. I also got some green vinyl plant tape to help secure plants outdoors and decided to use that as well. I love how it blends in really well with the foliage.

how to keep tall potted plants from falling over
how to keep tall potted plants from falling over
how to keep tall potted plants from falling over
how to keep tall potted plants from falling over
how to keep tall potted plants from falling over
how to keep tall potted plants from falling over
how to keep tall potted plants from falling over
how to keep tall potted plants from falling over

How gorgeous is this beauty? I hate to pick favorites, but this one is definitely one of my favorites. It’s amazing what a few stakes and string or tape can do to help a plant!

Want to read more about houseplant care? Check out my snake plant care tips, pothos plant care tips, prickly pear cactus care tips, and my top tips for taking care of succulents indoors! You can also check out my roundup of all of my original DIY planters.

Share my tips about staking houseplants and how to keep tall potted plants from falling over!

staking house plants
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